" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

FIVE DAYS IN AN IRA TRAINING CAMP ....... From the moment a new recruit enters the Irish Republican Army he or she undergoes a rigorous and intensive training to assess the individual Volunteer's level of commitment , general ability and particular aptitudes . After the initial recruitment lectures , this period includes training in personal security and anti-interrogation , basic intelligence work , political education - and of course training in the use of weapons . In this supplied article , a Volunteer in the IRA's Belfast Brigade describes his experience of taking part in an IRA training camp . From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 , pages 39 , 40 , 41 , 42, 43 , 44 and 45 .

...day 3 ..

The cross-country hike takes just under an hour ; it's an unusual sensation to be marching through the countryside uniformed and armed , even though it's dark and we don't expect to be seen .

We've been marching in single file behind the IRA Training Officer and suddenly he stops as the ground rises steeply . We're grateful for what we imagine is a short breather before marching on , but then he stoops to pull some strips of foam from behind a rock , and then scrapes away the surface of a patch of ground to reveal some canvas bags . Soon we're busy constructing a makeshift shelter and camouflaging it with materials that have remained hidden since the previous shooting camp .

There's even a gas bottle and a small stove (I pity the poor devil who had to haul them there !) so we'll be able to brew tea . It takes about another hour to complete the shelter in the darkness , and we're just collapsing thankfully inside , the tea-pot almost boiling , when the other three lads arrive breathless .

Too cramped to stretch out for any sleep , we sit around drinking tea and talking through the night .......

[END of 'DAY 3']. (Tomorrow - 'DAY 4' : 'Firing-tunnel constructed...').

THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX ....... " The military struggle will not slow down to relate to Sinn Fein's political activity . "Michael Farrell interviews two spokespersons authorised to speak on behalf of the leadership of the IRA . From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 , pages 7, 9 and 11 .

MICHAEL FARRELL : " What is your strategy ? "

IRA : " Our strategy has been , by military and political action , to frustrate the British aim of making the six counties governable through local power-sharing-type institutions . So far we have succeeded in this and the Brits can only govern in a direct colonial way , using 30,000 armed men .
Ultimate success will come when the British government decides that even colonial rule is no longer feasible . This will come about when , as a result of our military activity , the British people themselves demand an end to the war . "

MICHAEL FARRELL : " How do you see a British withdrawal coming about ? "

IRA : " The level of political and military activity is not yet enough to secure this ; we recognise that , even if the entire nationalist population in the six counties voted for Sinn Fein , that would'nt be enough . There must be an increase in political activity in the 26 counties so that they also demand that the Brits get out .
Even that would'nt be enough , because the only thing colonial rulers will listen to is force . There must also be a big escalation of military activity by us - and there will be ....... "

STATEMENT RELEASED BY J. McGarrity , IRISH REPUBLICAN PUBLICITY BUREAU , February 1957 ....... From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 6.(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.

Encouraged by the apparent dissension in the Nationalist rank , an unofficial Unionist was nominated and elected . Mitchell , the 'felon' , got 24,000 votes , and Mr. O'Neill , the nominee of the Dublin Government , lost his deposit . In spite of all the warnings , 80 per cent of the Nationalist people , when given the opportunity , had declared for the right to use every honourable means to drive the British Army out of Ireland .

The Nationalist people in Occupied Ireland had spoken ; the era of confusion and false hopes was over . The stage was set , but the people of the North were not strong enough in numbers to defeat unaided the forces of British Occupation . They looked for help to their blood-brothers in the 26 Counties , and asked them - " When we rise , will the young men from the South come to help us ? "

They were told in answer that there would be no question of their rising and then looking for help from the young men of the rest of Ireland : they were told that when they decided to strike for freedom there would be men from the four provinces of Ireland with them in the firing line .
And so it happened that when the people of the North rose on the 12th December 1956 , they had with them fighting men from all parts of Ireland .......